Mountain Makins festival cancelled

Tribune File Photo

Rose Center officials have announced that the 2020 Mountain Makins has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Board of Directors of Rose Center & Council for the Arts announced Friday the postponement of the annual Mountain Makins Festival for the second time.

“This decision was very difficult, and postponing the 45th festival for another year is devastating for Rose Center,” said Board Chair Kaye Schwalb.

The event was scheduled to take place October 23 and 24.

The festival takes months of planning and hundreds of volunteer hours to coordinate every year.

The Covid virus has heavily impacted staff, volunteers, and vendors.

“We were all looking forward to the familiar and comforting sights, smells, and sounds that Mountain Makins has brought to the community for so many years,” Executive Director Beccy Hamm said. “The mums, the music, the kettle corn, the dancing, storytelling, and of course the fabulous arts and crafts and talented makers who fill the old castle every October. We want the community to know that we did everything possible to have an in-person festival. It’s our favorite time of year, after all, and it’s always a joy to bring people together to celebrate through the arts.”

Plans are still underway for a virtual offering.

This past year and a half has been extremely difficult for those who depend on festivals and events for their livelihood. An interactive online marketplace will be available so that the craftspeople have a chance to sell their work. The marketplace will be available through November. The public is encouraged to support these artisans by purchasing their work.

A video montage featuring the debut of the newly formed Mass Community Choir, photos and videos of festivals past, short personal videos from people in the community will go live on Saturday, October 23, which would have been the start of the festival weekend.

The public is invited to send photos or short video clips to be included. These can include memories, or just comments about their favorite things at the festival.

Pumpkin painting and other fall-themed crafts will still be offered for children in Take and Make style. They are available for pre-order, to be picked up on October 23 at Rose Center. Two fairy princesses will be there to distribute the kits.

Rose Center is grateful to the businesses that had faith enough to sponsor Mountain Makins this year: ORNL Federal Credit Union, Morristown Utilities/Fibernet, HomeTrust Bank, Citizens National Bank, Tarr Chevrolet/Hyundai, Commercial Bank, and First Bank & Trust.

More information about the virtual festival and children’s activities, as well as ongoing classes and programs, is available online. Rose Center, located at 442 W 2nd North Street, is a Designated Agency of the Tennessee Arts Commission, and a United Way agency.